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Grace - Detours

Grace, Detours

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

EVER since Grace released Stand Still last year, they’ve been tipped as a band to watch. The song traded on a foot-stomping percussion, some fine piano chords and a keen sense of hope that’s not normally associated with bands of this type.

Comparisons with the likes of Coldplay, Muse and Snow Patrol followed – but Grace were keen to stamp their own identity on their music and duly followd it up with Wonderful, an equally shimmering piece of music that maintained an uptempo feel and an uplifting chorus.

It was abundantly clear that in JP Jones they have a powerful lead vocalist, while Sam Swallow’s keyboards, Ben Lumsden’s bass and Chris Hutchings’ drums provided the type of rousing backdrop required for the bigger sound they were seeking.

Well, cut to 2007 and Grace appear to have delivered on their potential with engaging debut album Detours, a big, vibrant record that contains more than it’s fair share of highs.

Opening song I Tried It sets things up in expert fashion, trading sweeping piano chords with breezy guitar licks and eventually exploding into the type of opening salvo that Chris Martin would be proud to call his own. Late on, however, the guitars get more gritty, offsetting Jones’ falsetto chorus to rousing effect and creating the sort of opening effort that’s designed to keep you listening.

Wonderful then leads into Slowly, the album’s most recent single and another competent if less spectacular offering. But just when you think they’re all about the big numbers, Grace proceed to deliver a belting ballad in the form of the piano soaked Sleep All Day, which capably demonstrates their ability to change tempo and melt hearts if they see fit.

JP Jones’ ability to stretch his voice is particularly noteworthy, helping to ensure that this is a ballad to leave you swooning.

Thereafter, the hit rate is similarly high with standouts including the guitar-led Explode, the tender but passionately delivered Diving Bell (a personal favourite that comes drenched in brooding piano chords) and Pillars, a giddy penultimate track that provides further thrilling evidence of the band’s musical ability.

Only a couple of tracks fail to work – such as Sink Like A Stone – but overall, Grace have delivered a deeply impressive debut LP that suggests they could well be huge.

Download picks: I Tried It, Wonderful, Sleep All Day, Explode, Diving Bell, Pillars

Track listing:

  1. I Tried It
  2. Wonderful
  3. Slowly
  4. Sleep All Day
  5. Alive
  6. Stand Still
  7. Sink Like A Stone
  8. Explode
  9. Diving Bell
  10. Pillars
  11. Dark Horse

  1. I love this album, their live sound is fantastic !! You must see them live, they open to Pillars which is just superb, Stand Still just rocks1!! But my favourite is Explode.

    Eric Hayto    Jun 14    #
  2. Actually I’d count Sink Like A Stone as one of my favourites!

    liz    Jun 21    #